6. Workforce and Education

A workforce confidently using digital health technologies to deliver health and care

WHAT WILL BE DELIVERED BY 2022

  • The Agency will collaborate with governments, care providers and partners in workforce education to develop comprehensive proposals so that by 2022, all healthcare professionals will have access to resources that will support them in confident and efficient use of digital services.
  • Resources and curricula will be developed to ensure all healthcare practitioners are exposed to and trained in digital technologies and their use during training and upskilling.
  • A comprehensive set of clinical resources which clearly outline the evidence for how, when and where digital health should be used in everyday clinical practice.
  • Promotion of a network of chief clinical information champions to drive cultural change and awareness of digital health within the health sector.

Healthcare consumers want their clinicians to know how to use digital technology reliably and effectively so that they can be used in way to improve their experiences with health services.

The National Digital Health Strategy recognises that successful implementation of new technology requires the initial and sustained engagement of front-line users to deliver awareness, education and adoption.

While digital technology adoption in the rest of our lives has become common, implementing digital technology changes across the health sector is one of the most complex adaptive changes in the history of healthcare, and perhaps of any industry.

It is therefore imperative that there is a nationally coordinated approach to workforce and other health and care stakeholders’ education to support this change.

The benefits for Australians and the Australian healthcare system are:

  • All healthcare practitioners will be able to confidently and efficiently use digital technologies and services to interact with patients, use and contribute to their health record and exchange clinical information with the rest of the health system.
  • The next generation of health and care workforce will be exposed to and trained in new clinical pathways, digital technologies and the importance of high-quality data.
  • The workforce will be positively engaged on the effect of digital technologies and services on their working lives.

Roles of participants in order to achieve benefits

6. participants role index table
Healthcare consumers Expect that governments and health care providers are adequately training and educating their workforce in digital technologies that support the delivery of health services
Healthcare providers Participate in training and education modules in respect to the use of digital technologies, and drive change to ensure that the digital solutions assist them efficiently to deliver more effective and safe healthcare services. Engage with other organisations, including software vendors who provide a variety of digital health training and information, to promote digital adoption of the workforce.
Industry & technology sector Ensure products and services have appropriate training guides and support for healthcare professionals, peak organisations and state and territory healthcare service delivery partners.
Peak organisations Participate in the design and delivery of best practice digital literacy programs across Australia by a range of national partners. Promote the use and benefits of digital health solutions to their membership.
Australian Digital Health Agency Work with training organisations, Primary Health Networks, private healthcare providers and states and territories to identify the best training delivery model for implementing digital solutions. Work with scientific organisations (e.g. HISA) and peak bodies to update clinical pathways and guidelines, embedding digital health best practices; working with training organisations to ensure continued professional development requirements are met; and developing and refreshing materials regularly
Commonwealth Government Ensure national health policy enables delivery of best practice digital literacy programs to the broader health workforce across Australia by a range of national partners
State and territory governments To design, commission, conduct, coordinate, support and evaluate education and training programs for clinical, corporate and support staff, including VET, vocational, undergraduate, professional entry/clinical trainees, new graduates.

Priority actions for co-development 2018 - 2022

6.1. Develop the capabilities needed to ensure digital technologies deliver better health and care outcomes

Support the workforce adapt to use and embrace the changes and opportunities created by digital health innovation through helping people and organisations develop the capabilities needed to embed these innovations into their work flows

6.1.1. Supporting adoption by the health workforce

Supporting the workforce to confidently use digital technologies

6.1.1 Timeline

Support the workforce adapt to, use and embrace the changes and opportunities created by digital health innovation through helping people and organisations develop the capabilities needed to deliver better health and care outcomes. Promote a network of chief clinical information champions to drive cultural change and awareness of digital health across the health sector to help embed digital health into routine clinical practice.

6.1.2. Digital health embedded in training

Development of digital health national educational curricula and training materials

Timeline for Development of digital health national educational curricula and training materials

Coordinate and develop national curricula and training materials that can be delivered by universities, health services, Primary Health Networks, peak bodies and training organisations (including the health information workforce, clinical coders, health librarians, and health informatics workforce) aligned to the requirements of continuing professional development programs for all health care providers. Coproduction of higher and tertiary education curricula relating to digital health and incorporation of components into existing courses. Enhance usability through the Agency On Demand Training service, and deliver best practice digital literacy programs across Australia for all healthcare providers, including sectors with low levels of participation such as allied health professionals and medical specialists.

6.1.3. Digital health in national standards and accreditation

Integration of digital health in national standards and accreditation requirements

Timeline for Integration of digital health in national standards and accreditation requirements

Led by the professional associations and workforce accreditation bodies, integrating digital health into national workforce accreditation to ensure healthcare providers have easy access to best practice guidelines, access to IT infrastructure in the learning environment, and other supporting resources which increase their understanding of how, when and why to use digital health solutions to improve outcomes in their routine clinical practice.

Woman at computer

View the Actions Across Australia Case Study – Workforce and Education